A professor of Islamic studies at the University of Notre Dame has scored a $1.2 million grant. The funding from the John Templeton Foundation is allowing Ebrahim Moosa to launch a project designed to help recent graduates of Islamic seminaries, or madrasas, in India.
The three-year project aims to "enrich scientific and theological literacy" among the graduates, according to the university. Moosa will work with scholars and teachers both at Notre Dame and in Indiana to develop a curriculum and online learning program.
Notre Dame says the program will integrate modern and classical knowledge traditions for young madrasa graduates. "Equipped with these knowledge resources, madrasa graduates can discover new ways to transform their lives and advance human dignity and the public good," says Moosa.
The project, which will train 100 recent graduates, is expected to have a multiplier effect throughout Indiana, Pakistan and Bangladesh, according to the university. "Graduates of madrasas are very influential in shaping the religious thinking, values and practice of mainstream Muslims. They are well-placed to play a transformative role as disseminators of ideas and agents of change."
Scott Appleby, dean of Notre Dame’s Keough School of Global Affairs, says Moosa’s project shows "tremendous promise as a model for how local and global religious thinkers and scholars can work together as agents of change."